Revelstoke Nordic skiing trails open for the season, Mickey Olson profile

The Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club opens for the season; Our profile on longtime Revelstoke Nordic volunteer Mickey Olson.

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Nordic skiers gather at the Ole Sandberg Cabin at a moonlight ski event at the Mount Macpherson trail network. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.

By Revelstoke Mountaineer staff

The new snowfall blanketing Revelstoke on December 11 has allowed the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club to announce that their trails at Mount Macpherson are open for the season.

In an email to members, the club said the 20 centimetres of new snow was enough to get the trails open.

Check out the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club’s grooming report webpage, or their club website here.

Newcomers

PeeWee Girls rounding the corner in the Skate Sprints. Photo: Rob Buchanan/Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club

For newcomers to Revelstoke, the Mount Macpherson Nordic trails are located on the west side of the Columbia River, sharing space with the summer mountain biking trails. The club offers a groomed trail network including portions lit until 9 p.m. You can buy a day pass and rent equipment at the Nordic Lodge. Even if you’re here for just a short time, a night ski at Mount Macpherson with friends should be on your bucket list.

Mickey Olson profile

From the December 2018 issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine, here is our profile of longtime Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club volunteer Mickey Olson, who passed away earlier this year.

A Revelstoke legacy: Mickey Olson’s passion for Nordic skiing lives on

Mickey Olson poses before the sign for the Nordic trail that bears his name. Photo: Olson family

Olson’s contributions to Nordic skiing in Revelstoke are memorialized in the trail bearing his name.

By Melissa Jameson

It’s nearly impossible to talk about Nordic skiing in Revelstoke without mentioning the late Mickey Olson. One of the most popular Mt. Macpherson ski trails, the Mickey Olson Loop, bears his name. It’s also one of his most gratifying accomplishments.

“He was so darn proud of that trail,” said Mickey’s niece, Sandra Painter.

Mickey’s life was one that encompassed nearly all of the multifaceted pieces that Revelstoke is comprised of. He was born in a railway baggage car just past Taft, onboard a train headed from Malakwa to Revelstoke in 1927. The middle of nine children, Mickey spent most of his life in Revelstoke, living at the current location of Terra Firma Farms.

He began working at a young age making pocket money fetching water and cutting kindling. He worked as a truck logger, first with the McInnes family, eventually going out on his own becoming a partner and operator of Westwind Logging, hauling logs to Shelter Bay and up the Big Bend.

Like many others born and raised in Revelstoke, Mickey took time to enjoy the outdoors. He could often be found cross-country skiing, fishing, and camping.

Ski jumping was in its heyday during Mickey’s youth, and like many others in Revelstoke he eagerly took part in the sport. He spent countless hours on Mount Revelstoke and enjoyed building smaller jumps with his friends, but never did get up to giving the big jumps a try.

Mickey was one of its longest standing and most committed volunteers for the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club. Mickey first began volunteering with the Nordic Ski Club in 1991 when he started helping with grooming. Long after he had retired from the workforce, Mickey’s volunteer spirit continued. He groomed and maintained trails, plowied the parking lot, and helped to perform maintenance and safety checks on the groomer equipment. Working alongside fellow volunteers Al McInnes and Brian Abear, Mickey took great satisfaction from the delighted looks and waves from people on the trail as they passed by. He volunteered with the ski club well into his 80s.

Mickey passed away this last summer at the age of 91. His legacy lives on as many generations to come will be able to enjoy the Mickey Olson Trail.

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